With a comprehensive network of international container shipping services, including LCL and FCL import and export operations, the U-Freight Group notes average Demurrage and Detention charges experience a year-on-year decline of 25% in 2023, with a significant 14% decrease compared to the rates in 2020, as found by Container xChange’s annual Demurrage and Detention Charges benchmark report 2023.
However, there are still 11 ports where Demurrage and Detention fees remain higher as compared to 2020. These ports include Antwerp, Jebel Ali, Ningbo, Port Kelang, Rotterdam, Shenzen, Singapore, Tianjin, Xiamen, Hong Kong, and Guangzhou.
There are multiple factors contributing to the inability of these ports to return to normalcy. The significant increase in energy prices, coupled with higher labour costs, and escalating land expenses and port fees, have all played a part.
Furthermore, the implementation of new regulations, particularly those focused on green energy in EU ports, has added to the financial burden. Additionally, the introduction of rules requiring individualized shipment customs clearance, no longer consolidated under one bill of lading, has proven to be time-consuming.
Demurrage and detention should ideally be a free market. The number of free days and the charges should be negotiable between parties and carriers, just like any other free market scenario. However, perhaps what needs regulation is the clarity on when the clock starts. Establishing clear time stamps and determining who bears the burden of proof in cases of congestion, where a container cannot be picked up, would be crucial. Payment should only commence once the terminal is able to release the container. These aspects warrant attention and potential regulation.
You can find more information about the U-Freight Group’s ocean freight services by visiting the relevant pages of this website or speaking to your usual contact in our company.